By Cristina Boydell
I had the opportunity to visit Valencia, Spain for a holiday a few weeks ago. It was interesting to scout for and pick up on street style and fashion trends for the season in this part of Europe.
It is no surprise that Spain is a fashionable place to live in! Popular high-street shops here include Zara, Stradivarius, Massimmo Dutti, Sfera, Pull & Bear, Blanco, Bershka and the renowned department store El Corte Inglés. Inditex, the world’s largest fashion group, owns most of these trendy fast-fashion brands, designing and producing the garments in the Spanish headquarters.
Although the weather was still sunny and in the mid-20s when I was in Spain, the fall trends were in full force, both on the streets and in the shops. Caps, knits, scarves, large bags and oversize clutches – it was all about the accessories and layering for autumn!
My favourite style spotted in Spain was the 70s look – a bang-on trend for the season. A floppy hat paired with a poncho and wide-legged jeans gave off that easy-boho and vintage vibe. Flowy maxi skirts and long dresses were still being worn but paired with light jackets or chunky knits and scarves for the “temperature drop”.
As can be seen off the runway of Spanish designer Ana Locking, bright citrus colours and colour blocking in silks and cotton on 60s style dresses and coats are strong trends for autumn. I love the long-sleeved shift dresses in black, white, royal and aqua blue tones, and mustard/grey with black and white combinations from Ana Locking.
While many people in Spain focused on fall/winter 2011 trends, others decided to fast forward ahead and dress à la spring/summer 2012! A bold statement on their part. Next season will be quite a colourful one, as can be seen in Agatha Ruiz de la Prada’s candy-inspired hues of pink, yellow, orange and red, which give a sunny feel to match the shining Spanish skies.
And what is happening in London right now? As I returned home, I noticed that the fall trends I saw in Valencia were also happening in London – I could see them at Topshop, the streets and the runway. A big difference between Spanish and English styles, however, is how many layers need to be worn!
In London, there is a greater need for this season’s must-have parkas, furs and tweed coats. There also seems to be a little more of an androgynous look, with boy accessories and tuxedo tailoring popular among the Brits.
Drawing from Vivenne Westwood’s latest collection, the trends in London are more experimental with the angular cuts and lengths of the garments, such as puffy-sleeved blouses and coats, while sequins on shoes and metallic trousers, skirts and jackets shimmered for a bit of girl glamour! Very quintessentially English, Westwood’s autumn/winter 2011/2012 designs are quirky, glittery and fun.
Paul Smith, on the other hand, focuses on chic preppy looks this fall – think earth tones, vests and sweaters, carrot-coloured coats (this colour is also huge next summer, so Paul is one step ahead of everyone!) and blue-on-red polka dot ties for women; and blazers, lots of gray tones, skinny pants and metallic parkas for men.
I love travelling to other parts of Europe to compare the fashion choices against the UK – this is one of the amazing things about living in England. I can’t wait to see what my next trip will have in store!